Be a part of the solution – Join H.S.A. and partners in Advocacy Day (October 21, 2021)
2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.
Haitian Studies Association has attempted to step up and fulfill our responsibility to make our reservoir of knowledge accessible to journalists, activists, and policymakers, convoking timely conversations. If you haven’t already done so, please register for Monday’s emergency brainstorming with Haitian Bridge Alliance on what to do about the situation on the border, 8 p.m. Eastern.
Advocacy Day Workshop Sustainable Political Advocacy (October 21, 2021)
For starters—what is policy advocacy and how is it different from, and complementary to, political activism? Moreover, working for justice on any issue, including through policy advocacy, is an exhausting process, especially in complex contexts like Haiti. As so many issues are pressing for our time and attention, we risk burnout and being overworked. Learn how to craft an approach to policy advocacy that also acknowledges the need for self-care and maintaining energy for long-term, effective engagement. Attendees will come away with best practices for advocacy and a deeper understanding of various advocacy tools and how to use them.
Advocacy Day Briefing: Disentangling Discourses of Disaster (October 21, 2021)
As part of a multi-day advocacy effort to bring up-to-date information and analysis from community and civic leaders in Haiti, this public briefing aims to educate and empower scholars, activists, journalists, aid practitioners, and policymakers. Even before the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, organizations in Haiti engaged a process of reconciliation and dialogue in an attempt to assert Haitian people as the center of debates in reimagining the country and offering a democratic transition that would be diverse and inclusive. The July 7 assassination laid bare both the importance and fragility of this effort. A public briefing held two weeks later brought up the continuities of misrule and domination by both foreign and national elite interests.
Emergency Brainstorming Session: What can we do about the violations at the U.S. Border? (September, 27 2021)
We at H.S.A. feel distraught and sad by the inhumane, racist, imperialist and colonialist treatment of our Haitian brothers and sisters at the border. Please see this Call to Action by H.S.A. and our sister Black academic professional associations.
Given the magnitude of the situation we would like to come together as scholars, activists and practitioners to brainstorm about some concrete actions we can take to support our brothers and sisters. To that end we are holding a brainstorming meeting on Monday, September 27 at 8 pm EST/7p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT. We will meet with a representative from the Haitian Bridge Alliance to think about some concrete and strategic ways we can work with other organizations to provide our services.
September 23, 2021
A Call to Action: justice for Haitian people at the U.S border
We are a collective of Black and professional academic organizations and activist formations that stand in solidarity as we advocate for the humane treatment of Haitian asylum seekers at the Texas border. Almost 15,000 Haitian migrants are camped in Texas after crossing from Mexico because current U.S. policies do not protect their human right to present their cases for asylum to border officials. We say NO to acts of violence and dehumanization by the United States government and its agents toward Haitian refugees and undocumented migrants. This treatment is being meted out to them, in our assessment, because of anti-Black racism and odious racialized stereotypes about Blackness, Haitianness, and immigrant identity. We refuse to remain silent in the face of the devastation being experienced by Haitian people. The color of their skin should not be used against them.
Translating Haiti: On the Academic Job Market (September 24, 2021)
The second event in the Emerging Scholars’ Translating Haiti mentorship series, this event features a conversation among recently hired scholars from various disciplines and backgrounds discussing how they translated their Haitian studies research for the job market. In a climate of renewed institutional attention to racial justice, how have recent job seekers framed Haitian studies in relation to critiques of anti-blackness that tend to center isolated narratives of historically white nation states like the US?
An interdisciplinary roundtable will reflect on questions posed implicitly and explicitly by search committees on the relevance and generalizability of Haitian studies and talk about how they translate Haitian studies into their diverse disciplines. We will also reflect on the scarcity and precarity of academic employment which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and invite participants to be prepared to share their own experiences seeking academic employment.
The roundtable and Q&A with panelists will be followed by small group discussion in disciplinary affinity groups facilitated by panelists and joined by senior scholars. (This event will be primarily in English with intermittent Kreyòl glosses and bilingual breakout rooms)
September 6, 2021
Important Update & Changes to our Annual Conference
With heavy hearts we write to inform you that after careful deliberation and surveying presenters, we have made the difficult decision to go online with our 2021 annual conference this year. Plans are already underway to work with local organizations to meet in Washington face-to-face in 2022. We will also announce the 2023 conference location during this year’s online business meeting.
The Delta variant and the rise in hospitalizations for COVID, the concerns that parents or other caregivers have for people with complications and / or who cannot be vaccinated, coupled with the increasing restrictions universities and other organizations are placing against travel, are making it increasingly challenging for everyone. Above all, HSA is looking out for the safety and wellbeing of its members.
August 17, 2021
Solidarity for a Haitian solution to the earthquakes
Saturday morning’s news about the earthquake in the southern peninsula of Haiti was another moment of great sadness for all of us. There are still people we haven’t been able to connect with, causing great fear. Images that have circulated show damaged houses, roads that are cracked on both sides, schools and hospitals fissured. We don’t even know yet how many people lost their lives as a result of the two earthquakes that had the same intensity as January 12, 2010 – a date we will never forget. August 14th is already an important date in Haitian history, as the anniversary of the Bwa Kayiman ceremony led by Boukman Dutty and Cécile Fatiman that inspired the Haitian Revolution. The current ‘conjunctural’ crisis has a different face today but the structural crisis demands that we unite. At the very least, we hope that this historical date marks the end of interference and bad governance at the service of foreign powers that have not stopped punishing Haiti for its role in human liberation. We need a truly Haitian Solution, once and for all… Haitians have the capacity and expertise, even if Haiti doesn’t have enough financial resources to address the multiple crises. The Haitian Studies Association is giving all our strength, capacity, and experience in offering real solidarity with the survivors.
August 6, 2021
2021 Nominations for the H.S.A. Board
The members of the Board of Directors of the Haitian Studies Association are elected by the general membership at the annual conference and by electronic balloting prior to the conference and serve a three-year term. Board members can be re-elected for additional terms. The Board is composed of elected (including a student representative), and advisory members who, in turn, elect the officers of the board. The elected officers of the Board of Directors are the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Advisory Board is comprised of the current Executive Director, the immediate Past President, and the Editor of the Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS). Collectively, these members are the governing body of the Haitian Studies Association.
The Vice President, elected by the membership, shall serve in that capacity for a term of one-year following the Annual Conference. Upon completion of his/her term, she/he shall become the President. The membership of the Association shall elect a new Vice President every year, by email ballot (or if necessary at the first two days of the Annual Conference), according to the procedures prescribed in the By-Laws. The Vice-President assists the President in the functioning and management of the organization and serves as Program Chair for the annual conference.
Translating Haiti: Within and Beyond the Classroom (August 21, 2021)
As part of the Emerging Scholars Translating Haiti Series, this event is a conversation between public scholars and the editors/contributors of Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives. The event will focus on new ways of teaching about Haiti using different modalities. Discussants will share some aspects of their teaching practice and how they educate the wider public about Haitian culture, history, and contemporary politics. This event will also engage participants through Q/A and small group discussions.
July 31, 2021
Conference Registration is Now Open
We are also excited to announce that registration for our 33rd annual conference, held in Washington DC, on October 21-23, is now open. The conference will be held at the DoubleTree in Crystal City, one metro stop away from the airport. People are also invited to book their stay there at a discounted rate. If you prepay, breakfast buffet is $10 per day per person. The day of, it is $20 for buffet.
This year’s conference will prove to be a timely discussion, and a unique opportunity for scholars, policymakers, activists, journalists, and practitioners to learn from one another. The Program Committee has completed its extensive round of blind peer reviews and are pleased to accept 63 excellent papers and 25 panels on a range of themes.
We invite you to register right away… the early bird registration discount ends on September 1.
Emerging Scholars Award 2021 (Call for Applications)
HSA established the Student and Emerging Scholars’ fund during the 2006 conference. Since 2008, the HSA board has earmarked $1000 annually to support student research and participation in our annual conference.
Two scholarships ($500 each), one for a graduate student and the other for an undergraduate student, may be applied toward travel and accommodation expenses incurred for attending an HSA conference and/or presenting a specific research project concerning Haiti and/or the Haitian diaspora.
The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Fund 2021 (Call for Applications)
The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Fund was started in 2012 to expand participation in HSA among Haiti-based academic and public scholars, artists, and professionals who might not be able to attend the conference in person without financial assistance.